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We Need Your Help, Deliberating This....

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I'm trying to make a decision on a flat with my partner and the more we deliberate it, the harder it is to make a decision.

I keep conflicting the issue by hearing the words ringing in my head 'buying a property is most expensive purchase in ones life' and then thinking ' thinking too much prevents you from doing anything!

To help me break it down a bit, i've asked myself & my partner the following questions.

1: Do we like the property: me 7/10, her 8/10

2: Can we afford the property: yes (having added mortgage repayments, council tax, Service charge, utilities, food, transport, & other living costs)

3: Pros & Cons


Location ( London underground Zone 2)

London (Islington post code)

close to transport (0.4 miles)

Top Floor flat (Better security & nobody above & neighbouring us) (Fourth floor, (counting the street level as 1st floor))

Good sized Balcony offering outdoor space.

Tesco's express close by (Indicator of good & prosperous area)

A new development of Luxury flats completed 2014 & new build of flats opposite road

Comparing the Price of the flat to neighbouring period flats: cheap,

Comparing the Price of the flat to neighbouring similar flats: reasonable

3 years remaining on Building warranty

2005 Brick construction

Ready to move into & live (no need to decorate)


Above a shop (Currently an A2 Commercial property, previously a A3 (Restaurant) before)

(Harder in the long run if we decide to sell, Potential buyers getting a mortgage)

Next door to a pub, (Currently being refurbished to a gusto pub)

On the high street

Flat is small (580 sq ft) but relative to area


The flat below (Also 2 bed without balcony) was listed for sale originally December '12, with price being dropped in June 2013, Currently taken off market and put up for rent.

I spoke to the agent selling the flat below and he advised despite having a lot of interest, could not match the sellers asking price, currently emigrating to Australia, key points being, above a shop and next door to a pub.

Naturally this concerns me because if the flat below can't sell now, how will I be able to sell when we decide to move on?

Were both like this flat mainly because of its location, zone 2 and because of the lifestyle living in a flat like this affords us & its proximity to some really cool trendy parts of Town, Dalston, Stoke Newington, Islington.

So my questions to you, hopefully more experienced in this area than myself and my partner (First time buyers) are:

Are there any other factors were not considering/ asking ourselves.

Could you ask us some questions to help us reason this out.

Thank you, we both very much appreciate your time reading this, your thoughts & your questions.

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There's some useful bits in this article. Including:

You've plenty of research to do too: check to see if the shop owner is the freeholder as a future planning application or change in the use of the premises could be a further hindrance.

Mortgage lenders weigh up three types of retail premises: category "A1" means retailers like newsagents and clothes shops; "A2" denotes professional services like dentists, banks or lawyers; and "A3" – the hot one for lenders – covers restaurants, takeaways and pubs.


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Your struggle to decide is merely the symptom of a deeper malaise. Maybe it's the relationship that you are having problems committing to.

Have you thought about grabbing your share of the deposit, taking a sabbatical from work and travelling the world with nothing but a spare pair of sandals and a rucksack full of condoms? The seller is emigrating to Oz, perhaps he knows something you don't.

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The commercial unit below could become a late opening kebab/curry/take away with the inherent noise problems plus may be other problems. Getting a mortgage for flats above shops is more difficult. When prices are rising people will put up with 'above shops' 'lower ground' etc as they will only be there for a couple of years before moving on to the next step of the so-called property ladder but if prices are static or falling these will not sell even if you drop the price ... the extra 10k not to live above a shop will always be found. I believe you should always buy with a view to selling. I would not buy above a shop or next to a pub. This is my 2 cents worth ... I have bought and sold numerous times.

I have to agree. I would try to avoid anywhere that has an inherent negative, i.e. something you can do nothing about. Except in the sort of crazy market where people will buy anything, it will always make a place harder to sell, and lenders don't tend to like properties above shops.

Of course you are talking about an expensive area, and you don't say what the price is, but the flat does sound on the small side for two people and all their stuff.

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The shop is currently a Ladbrooks, (A2) but research has revealed that it was a restaurant before, therefore an A3 commercial premises.

The pub next door is renovating to be a gastro pub, serving real ale!!!

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How long do you want to live in this tiny flat?

There's a group of 'second-steppers' stuck in flats like that and miserable about it, because they can't afford to move. Could that be you in five or ten years time?

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